GTD @ Home - An Inbox For Everyone

by Randy Murray on January 14, 2010

This week I’m covering 5 quick and easy things you can do to get better organized and become more productive.

Today: Get an inbox for everyone at home.

If you’re practicing good Getting Things Done (GTD) techniques, or even if you’re just trying to stay organized, here’s a tip that can help you.  EVERYONE around you needs an inbox. This is fairly standard in an office environment, but less familiar in a home setting.

If you’re following GTD you use an inbox even at home and it helps you collect everything, then process it regularly. But it’s sometimes difficult to train the others around you to use it. They probably leave things for you everywhere – on the kitchen table, your dresser, piled at the foot of the stairs. But you can easily get them to use inboxes if you supply them for everyone.

It doesn’t even need to be an actual box. It can just be a space, a location, just a consistent spot where everyone knows to leave things for that one person.

And once everyone knows where their inbox is, you can start with the daily “mail room” distribution. Everyday, you pick up the mail and other items, notes, THINGS, and walk around your house and sort them into everyone’s individual inbox. They’ll quickly figure it out and I’ll even bet that they’ll like it. Once they get used to having things left for them in their box, they may even figure out how to put things for you into yours.

I can say it until I’m blue in the face – “Please put it in my inbox!” but no one ever does. So turn the tables and sneak it in as a part of family culture – everyone has their own inbox.  You might even find that someday one of them will come to you and ask, “How to you keep your inbox so it’s always empty?” and you can smile and show them how to process it to zero.

The GTD @ Home - An Inbox For Everyone by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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